Vice Chairwoman Edmonson says no to larger trucks on the road
During the October 5, 2011 Miami-Dade Commission meeting, the Board unanimously approved a resolution urging the Florida congressional delegation to oppose legislation in Congress that would increase the maximum weight and length of trucks. The legislation, sponsored by Vice Chairwoman Audrey M. Edmonson, was created against proposals in Congress that would not only increase weight limits, but also remove current restrictions on massive triple trailer trucks and other "longer combination vehicles" (LCVs).
Legislation introduced in the House and Senate would increase maximum weights for single trailer trucks by nearly 10 tons, from 80,000 pounds to as high as 99,000 pounds. With Congress preparing a multi-year transportation funding bill, some of the nation's largest and most powerful trucking companies are also lobbying to lift a 20-year-old "freeze" that strictly limits operations of triple trailers and other LCVs.
"Bigger trucks and safety are like oil and water - they just don't mix," said Vice Chairwoman Edmonson. "Making trucks longer or heavier would just make our already dangerous highways even more dangerous. Additionally, heavier trucks would continue to overburden our roadways and bridges. At a time when budgets are limited for government-funded infrastructure projects, the Federal legislature shouldn't allow the passage of laws that would contribute to the deterioration of our ailing roadway systems"
In addition to urging Florida's senators and representatives to oppose legislation allowing trucks to get longer or heavier, the resolution also urges support for bills in the House and Senate that would freeze maximum truck lengths and weights at today's levels.
In Florida in 2009, there were 181 fatalities in crashes involving large trucks and 2,782 injuries, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. Additionally, 1,883 bridges in Florida are already designated as structurally deficient or functionally obsolete in the USDOT 2010 National Bridge Inventory. Five thousand Florida bridges are more than 40 years old.
Note: B-Roll of triple trailer trucks, including the "crack the whip" effect, available at www.cabt.org